Qualifying tests begin on Friday, December 2, 2022, and will be held at 10 pools around the city, returning to pre-pandemic levels (compared to 6 locations last year) including recreation centers and local high schools.
Register for an upcoming qualifying exam on the NYC Parks Lifeguard information page.
The NYC Parks lifeguard corps make summer happen for NYC! Becoming a lifeguard is a rewarding experience: our staff have the opportunity to work outdoors in some of New York City’s most iconic locations, and play a critical role in helping New Yorkers of all ages and abilities have safe access to beaches and pools. Lifeguards work five or six days each week.
New this year: past NYC Parks Lifeguards get a reward for referring a friend! This year, we’re encouraging everyone who worked as a lifeguard with NYC Parks last summer to tell their friends to join the team! Lifeguards who refer a friend to join the corps can receive a gift for a successful referral.
Steps to Becoming a Lifeguard
1. Try out! Pass the Qualifying Test
Taking the qualifying test is the first step toward becoming a lifeguard. These tryouts take place in our indoor pools over the winter before the upcoming summer season. All potential lifeguards must pass the Lifeguard Qualifying Test – a vision and swim exam.
To pass the qualifying test, you must:
- Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment.
- Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other – without corrective lenses. Glasses and contact lenses may not be worn during the eye exam.
- Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, with proper form.
2. Train at Our Lifeguard School
Once you pass the qualifying test, your training to become an NYC Lifeguard begins. You’ll develop your swimming skills, learn lifesaving techniques, and receive your certification to become an NYC Lifeguard. Lifeguard Training is a 16-week program that consists of 40 hours of training, a CPR course, and final swimming tests.
3. Head to Our Beaches and Pools!
If you successfully complete the training program, you may be offered a full-time job for the summer working at a beach or pool in one of the best cities in the world! Our beaches open on Memorial Day Weekend and outdoor pools open in late June. Beaches and pools close the Sunday after Labor Day.
After completing the course and passing the final exam and background check, lifeguards will be paid for time spent in training once they begin working.
NYC Parks manages eight beaches and 53 outdoor pools citywide.